Knowing more about Google Applications for Education can provide benefits that go beyond “free access” to software. Collaboration, going paperless and access that isn’t operating system or browser specific, are reasons to consider learning more about this service. Google provides different professional development pathways for those who want to become more adept at using Google Apps in their classroom and with students.
One of these pathways is becoming a Google Certified Educator. There are two levels. Level 1 is Fundamentals Training and Level 2 is Advanced Training. Each of the levels has about 34 lessons that take anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes to complete. Each of the lessons contain reflection type questions and a self-assessment quiz.
Log in with your @alaska.edu email address to keep track of the lessons you’ve completed and see where you are in the progression. If you wish, there is a $10 fee to take a certification exam for each of the two levels. The certification is good for 24 months, after which you’ll need to retake the exams to maintain your certification.
You don’t have to take the exams to benefit from the available units. One of the best things about the courses within each of the levels is Google integrates technology into the teaching process rather than just concentrating on the application. You come away with a better understanding of how to use the different Google applications in a meaningful and purposeful manner that relates to activities you could actually do in a classroom. You might find some relevant lessons for your students to use as a learning resource. Unit 3 in the Fundamentals Training is all about “Having a (Mostly) Paperless Classroom” which includes information about using Google Drive with other Google Applications to stay organized and participate in a collaborative environment.
One of the strengths of the Google Certification process is access to the resources. There are several different Google online communities available for educators ranging from general information to application-specific topics. Practitioners, just like you, trying to figure out how to be efficient with their time and with student’s time without jeopardizing the end goals share their ideas about integrating the Google tools into a class and the curriculum.
Visit https://edutrainingcenter.withgoogle.com/ Google for Education and take a look for yourself.
A second professional development pathway for Google for Education apps is to attend ongoing training events by OIT or UAF eLearning. Currently, UAF eLearning leads the number of Google for Education Certified Trainers in Alaska with Christen Bouffard, Sean Holland, Madara Mason, Jennifer Moss, and Heidi Olson meeting ongoing requirements. Google for Education Certified Trainers requires completing a variety of exams demonstrating subject-matter expertise and practical application of Google for Education training. See opportunities on the events calendar iteachu.uaf.edu/events .
Download the PDF file: TT-GoogleAppsEducators-final
Faculty are also encouraged to attend ongoing training events by OIT and UAF eLearning. Currently, UAF eLearning leads the number of Google for Education Certified Trainers in Alaska. Find a workshop that fits your busy schedule: http://elearning.uaf.edu/go/